Kiely, the managing editor for Sunlight’s reporting team, has noticed that many senators seems to find a favorite fundraising spot and stick to it, such as Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who favors Charlie Palmer’s Steak house. "It is like our senators get into a culinary rut," she said. But the Sunlight Foundation didn’t create its Political Party Time database to track restaurants. Rather, the point is to see how often members of Congress hold fundraisers, and if possible, who else is in attendance. To do this, they rely on D.C. insiders surreptitiously giving them invitations. This means, their data are far from comprehensive, but it does provide the best public tool to see who is fêting lawmakers. [...] "Most of the people who give money in politics are not giving because they have a warm and fuzzy feeling about democracy," said Kiely. "It is because they would like to exercise some influence."